Source: Australian Liberal Party
The Morrison Government has maintained its commitment to responsible Budget management during this election campaign and will continue to deliver a budget surplus this coming year and every year over the forward estimates and the medium term.
Additional spending on election commitments by the Coalition, beyond what was already factored into the 2019-20 Budget, has been modest and has been more than offset by additional savings.
Since the Budget delivered on 2 April 2019, the Coalition has made $1.4 billion in new spending commitments over the forward estimates, building to $3.8 billion over the medium term.
This is more than offset by a reduction in departmental funding of $1.5 billion over the forward estimates, building to $5 billion over the medium term.
This means a re-elected Coalition Government will reduce departmental funding by $600 million less than Labor, who have announced a $2.1 billion cut to departmental funding.
That means that over the forward estimates departmental funding will reduce from $288.6 billion to $287.1 billion over the forward estimates, whereas under Labor it would reduce further to $286.5 billion.
Unlike Labor the Coalition will leave it to the judgement of departmental secretaries where those efficiencies are best found.
If departmental secretaries assess that these efficiencies can best be secured through reductions in expenditure on contractors, consultants and travel, because that makes sense from a value-for-money point of view, then of course that is what the Coalition would expect them to do.
Efficiency outcomes will be better and more sensible by letting departmental secretaries make those judgements based on value-for-money considerations.
The net effect of all our policy commitments announced since the Budget during the election campaign is a slight improvement to the budget surplus in each year of the current forward estimates period, without increasing taxes.
This leads to a slight overall increase in the cumulative surplus, now expected to be $45.1 billion over the next four years.
In contrast Labor has abandoned any pretence of budget responsibility.
Labor’s own costings reveal a massive $35 billion in additional spending on its promises over the forward estimates, and $112 billion over the medium term.
However, its spending goes well beyond this. Just one day after Labor released its costings, Bill Shorten promised a further $10 billion in spending.
Labor’s costings do not account for a series of expensive spending promises they have made costing more than $40 billion over the forward estimates and more than $240 billion over the next decade.
The Coalition has made a lot of progress in rebuilding our economy and repairing the Budget. There is more to do. This is not the time to turn back to Labor’s fiscal mismanagement. The Coalition has the right plan to build our economy and secure Australia’s future.